Tom Brady’s First ‘Official’ Baseball Card and the Mystery of the 2014 Redemption

In the world of sports memorabilia, collectors are always on the lookout for unique and elusive items. With the release of the 2023 Bowman Draft Baseball set, the spotlight is on a very special card, featuring none other than NFL legend Tom Brady. Topps, the renowned trading card company, is promoting this card as Brady’s first official baseball card. However, there is more to the story than meets the eye.

If one considers only fully completed cards distributed in packs, then the claim holds true. But in 2014, Topps Five Star Baseball had already included Brady in its autograph card lineup. These cards were meant to be redeemed by collectors, but to this day, they remain unfulfilled, leaving fans in anticipation. It is worth noting that other famous quarterbacks, such as John Elway and Dan Marino, who were also drafted by MLB teams, were listed on the original checklist.

The delay in releasing the actual autographed cards from the 2014 set might be attributed to the shift in licensing rights. That year marked the last season Topps held the NFL and NFLPA licenses before Panini took over with exclusive rights. With this change, the production and distribution of the autographed cards faced complications. However, for collectors eagerly awaiting the fulfillment of their redemptions, the reasons behind the delay offer little consolation.

Fast forward to 2023, and Tom Brady, having retired from Football, now has an exclusive autograph deal with Fanatics, the current owner of Topps. This partnership led to his inclusion in the prestigious Bowman Draft Baseball set. The set features a total of 81 signed Brady cards, each with its own unique version. Collectors can find variations like the Gold Refractor (limited to 50 copies), Orange Refractors (limited to 25 copies), Red Refractors (limited to 5 copies), and a one-of-a-kind Superfractor. Some cards even come with special inscriptions, adding even more value to the collection.

Apart from the autographed cards, there is also a rare unsigned version that captures a young Brady in a Montreal Expos uniform. This particular card is a tribute to the time when the Montreal Expos selected Brady as a catcher in the 18th round of the 1995 MLB Draft. However, Brady ultimately chose college football, leading him to a legendary career in the NFL. This unsigned card, designed in the style of the 1995 Bowman Baseball set, offers collectors a unique piece of sports history.

While fans are excited about Brady’s first official baseball card in the 2023 Bowman Draft set, there still remains curiosity about the fate of the 2014 Topps Five Star Brady redemption. Collectors have reached out to Topps representatives for any updates on its production status, but as of now, the mystery lingers. In the world of sports memorabilia, the quest for rare items continues, and the resolution of this redemption case will undoubtedly be eagerly awaited by collectors around the globe.

In conclusion, Tom Brady’s first “official” baseball card is making waves in the sports memorabilia world with its inclusion in the 2023 Bowman Draft Baseball set. While there have been previous instances of Brady appearing on a baseball card, this particular card holds significance as it is his first fully completed card distributed in packs. The anticipation for the fulfillment of the 2014 Topps Five Star Brady redemption adds another layer of intrigue to the story. With Brady’s exclusive autograph deal with Fanatics and the range of unique versions in the Bowman Draft set, collectors have plenty to be excited about.


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